Why we Quit.

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I am not a cat person.

And then I got this dood (the one on the right).

It’s love.

A while back I would've laughed heartily at the suggestion that I would ever let a cat into my home. The hair! The scratching! and what's with the eyes, cat? You're your own mystical creature and your lack of neediness clashes with my Libra co-dependencies. Not to mention the Indian cultural archetype of cats being bad luck (which my mother reminded me of when I told her she was a new grand petmother). And add on top of that the pagan symbolism of a black cat? pfff. You straight up crazy girl, I say to myself.

But, quickly and without over-thinking as these great moments happen, I opened up my eyes to an opportunity to accept and give love in my life and resist the temptation to fall back on my supposed hard-wired dislikes. It’s a ‘Yes, And’ that is proving to be very good thus far. We just have to work on the scratching.

In my youth, I detested indian food, cooked carrots, and swore I would never wear a dress. Like ever.

While I still hold the same regard for cooked carrots, my tastes have evolved and I've grown to relish the opportunity to grow and break my previous limitations. The box I hold myself in, of liking this and not liking that are not really true and often crystallized in fleeting moments. I know what I like, but I'm not a staunchly opinionated person and to be set in my ways about something feels like I’m blocking the flow of life more often than not.

With that in mind, I wonder how often we hold ourselves in allegiance to a like or a dislike just out of habit. Maybe if we can all just take a stab at doing something we said we hated because of that previous experience, we’d learn to embrace and actually derive pleasure from a previous sore spot (for example: sushi/Avril Lavigne’s singing/public speaking).

Yes, yes, I’m off to cook some carrots tonight…

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The Art of the ‘Yes, And’

No, please, I insist, you first!

Second City Improv classes teach me a lot about life.

Like it’s okay to just ‘be’ if you don’t know what you’re going to say. (‘Awkard’ pauses are opportunities to breathe, assess, and play with the moment)

And if you say you’re going to do something, you better follow through or the audience will remember you for the inconsitency in your character. (Ever disappointed someone you love this way?)

My favourite is this: the way to progress a scene is to “Yes, And” instead of “No”.

See, the art of “Yes, And”-ing creates a dynamic where you encourage what is happening and create offers for your scene partners.

It would be like this:

Rhonda: I’m so happy we’re flying to the moon today

Toby: We’re not flying to the moon! You’re insane

Rhonda: Uhhh….*curses partner for giving her nothing to work with*

Versus

Rhonda: I’m so happy we’re flying to the moon today

Toby: Thank God, it’s about time I took you home.

Rhonda: I’m sure your mother will be happy to see me.

And in life, I can think of this principle adding to my growth as an individual. To accept something and make your offer on what happens next is our greatest access to having personal freedom. It also just feels smoother not to resist, helping us along that flow of life and bettering those around you along the way. We have this unfortunate tendancy to fall back on cynisism, fear, and a lack of a sense of worth, so too often shy away from the offers in front of us, whether it’s improving a relationship, taking on a new project, or letting go of a stressful trigger.

So, what if you took a shot at “yes, and”-ing your life instead? …might lead to some funny outcomes.

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Everything is coming up Gandhi.

Thinking a lot about this one:

Live simply so others can simply live.

I’m finding little ways that makes sense. After having a rambling, non-hallucinogenic induced discussion with a co-worker on the consumer culture we’ve created and the ridiculousness of government spending around the world (Greece is bankrupt y’all), it’s becoming more obvious to me that the less time I spend on buying into the hype, the status symbols, and all the other bells and whistles in this culture, the more energy and clarity I have to connecting to what really makes life fulfilling. Loving, being loved, and spreading that to others. And while “stuff” is great, the acquisition of it just for the sake of following the crowd or expectations is what’s helping contribute to the fog. Less is more.

Example- I have fought with my hair for many humid Ontario summers, using the best curling tonics so my hair isn’t a big frizz bomb. And the best one? Falling asleep with wet hair with absolutely nothing in it. It looks dope and wild, like hair is meant to look. It’s good not to get caught up with the residue.

Girl, just no.

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On the mornings when the gauntlet is thrown down…

I squeezed in every moment of sleep. Waking up feeling refreshed, I got ready, found an outfit that was perfect, and made my way to meet a friend at a coffee shop. Whimsically navigating Queen street on my bicycle, I parked it and had a leisurely conversation over Americano’s.

Noticing it was time to get to work, I left the shop, only to find that someone had locked their lock to my bike. Just the lock. Not even with a bike attached. Someone had just locked their lock on my bike. Certainly the actions of a sadist or some absent-minded soul.

I was dumbfounded. Then I was angry (which is a composite of being upset at the inconvenience, sad that I wouldn’t have my bike for the day, and pissed that I’d have to use the TTC on the hottest day of the year). I questioned a man sitting on a bench who was at the perfect vantage point to witness the infraction, who just nodded and indicated he’d watch my bike in universal pointing language, since our attempt at finding a common verbal language was not possible.

I ranted to my friend still in the coffee shop. Being more grounded in that moment, she reminded me that it really wasn’t a big deal and that it probably meant I wasn’t meant to have my bike today. *blank eye stare*

On an emotional scale of “at Peace with it” to “Rob Ford Temper Tantrum” I was at a “annoying hangnail”.

Who would do such a thing? Why would he/she be so inconsiderate (intentionally or not) as to prevent me from using my vehicle?

And why was I holding on to it?

Sure, I could alpha dog it out and spend my time hunting down the ‘culprit’ or find a pair of heavy duty cutters to take care of it. But why? What would be the basis of that focused action? Anger that propelled me to assert “HEY, DON”T MESS WITH ME UNIVERSE! I CALL THE SHOTS HERE!”. What was the resistance toward accepting “what is”? And I saw yet again that whatever exists in that space between “what is” and “what I want it to be” is the thing that disrupts joy and harmony in my life. We’re blessed with the ability to take action in our lives, but when something is done, why spend the time pushing against the stream?

So. I was late for work, and had a streetcar experience that probably best left for another post. My boss didn’t mind that I was late. I didn’t miss anything critical. And the day marches on with whatever intention I choose (I’ll take Happy and Productive for $500 Alex)

And maybe the reason for it all was to get me back to writing here. And that feels like I’m a little bit closer to being me.

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The Balloon Experiment.

This gallery contains 17 photos.

A new found treasure. A street of strangers/new friends. Snap happy fingers. Sometimes it’s the simplest things in life that show you the most.

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Best Conversation Ever?

I rarely click on banner ads. No, out of my way, don’t want to look at you. But this one caught my eye:

Best conversation ever Wind Mobile? Reeeeally? Okay, you’ve got my attention…how’s this work? So I clicked to the landing page and played the quick video informing me that all I needed to do was submit an entry, get groovin with the social media tools, and I (me!) could be 1 of 5 lucky Canadians to win a conversation with the person of my choosing, AND they’d donate $100,000 to a Canadian charity.

This is cool for these reasons:
1. Let’s the entrant connect with a celeb (look to the success of Twitter to show why that’s good for business)
2. Creates an online conversation (fwd, share, blog, comment, viralocity in general)
3. Donates a big chunk of money to charity (thumbs up from me)

But all I could think was, I want to talk to the Dalai Lama or Ellen Degeneres. You’re going to get him/her on the phone for me? Whaa?

So my inquisitive marketing mind, with plenty of experience writing up rules and regs for crazy contest couldn’t help but take a peek at the legals.

In the event that the Personality does not agree to have a Conversation with the Winner, the Sponsor will (a) make a Donation of $99,000 to a Canadian charity designated by the Winner, and (b) give the Winner $1,000 (paid by cheque).

And there it is. A comfortable clause that is necessary for WIND, but I can’t help but feeling like it reeks a bit with illusions of grandeur. How many of the conversations will they be able to fulfill in reality? Will people default to just asking to speak to Wheels from Degrassi? The $100,000 donation to charity works to encourage the personalities to participate though- I can see Kim Kardashian’s PR rep more than happy to share that she was involved in giving hundreds of Canadian kids new hockey equipment. I’d be interested to see if they post the conversations to the interweb post contest. It seems like a fulfillment nightmare, and they will be able to pick and choose the ‘lower hanging fruit’ (Although I’d love to hear the message the coordinator would leave on Oprah’s answering machine). Kudos to them though, it’ll get people forwarding.

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